Over the last dozen or so years, I have been active as an elder for Two Coyotes Wilderness school in Newtown. I recall a time when fifty or so of the participants and staff had gathered deep in a forest in Granby to hear the teachings from a Mohican elder. We were huddled around an open campfire listening intently to the storyteller. He stopped and putting his hand behind his ear pointed away from the fire. “Do you hear that?” Within the deep silence we could hear the rushing of the river we had crossed to get to the campfire. “Listen to the song of the river. Listen closely to the sounds of the river as it hits the rocks. The song of the river is created by the force of its movement against those very rocks that are the resistance of its flow. It is the rhythm of force, flow and ease in concert.”
Our storyteller than gifted us with a new insight! He said… “we all have our own personal song. We develop our song over the stages of our life.” On this journey, we meet different levels of challenge, resistance, or trauma with varying intensity. Other times we experience a gentle flow. The sounds of our song will differ according to the context and complexity of our life. Over time we may recognize a recurring theme in our song. When working with a native medicine person, he or she may ask when was the last time you danced or sung your song?
I would like you to consider that we as a beloved community also have a song. It is the sound we make as we hear the varied sounds of resistance and/or call for unity. A group searching for wholeness makes lots of differing tones. This should be no surprise to any of us! However, sometimes in haste or with the intensity of passion, we may use words that leave footprints on each other. When our words are used against one another, our song of connection becomes a banging cymbal. OH! We hear it loud and clear, however it drowns out our song of connection and aspiration.
Our words are very powerful! “The words we use and pay attention to create the world we live in.” The song of an evolving aspiring beloved community needs words and tones of respect, honesty, gentleness, welcoming and inclusiveness. After all we have come here to be solace and strength for each other. Joy also happens to be one of the things we need to experience with each other on a regular basis.
Drop me an email with your response to this short message. I would like to hear if any part of it resonates with you!
– Rev. Jim Francek
Community Minister – Pastoral Care